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Is the Atkins Diet Right for You?
Dr. Robert Atkins started writing books about his theories regarding nutrition in 1972. From the beginning his beliefs were both controversial and subject to strong emotional reactions. In the early 21st century, he published his "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution", which became an overnight sensation and gave birth to the Atkins Diet. Visit http://atkins.com/ for more details. Like Doctors Sears and Agatston, he also focuses on too much insulin in our systems as being a major culprit in promoting both obesity and cravings. He also believed that the resulting unstable blood sugar levels affected mood, sleep, and caused depression.
A major source of disagreement among some experts is ketosis, a state when the liver has run out of stored carbohydrates and enters a sleep- like state and the body burns stored fat. In the first phase of the Atkins Diet known as induction, the body quickly reaches this state and rapid weight loss ensues. Dieters during this phase are eating things like cheese, meat, cream, some salad and a cup of one other vegetable. Many see the allowance of fatty foods to be so desirable, that the diet has been more popular than any in history. Yet the debate rages on.
There have been many studies done as to the potential benefits and harm caused by the Atkins Diet. Those in favor claim that the medical community is on its side, as the studies were conducted in carefully controlled groups and carefully reviewed. These studies shows that ketosis isn't harmful, that low carbohydrate diets are superior, the right kinds of fat can actually raise the "good" cholesterol and decrease triglycerides, and that people on the diet had a higher rate of continuance.
Critics claim that the Atkins Diet can cause kidneys to fail, increase the risk of heart disease, provide less than enough energy for athletes to function, less weight loss than some other diets, is generally unhealthy since it violates the standard food pyramid, and causes severe constipation.
Whatever side you believe, everyone seems to agree that there are some common misconceptions about the program. Some think that Dr. Atkins promoted eating any kind of fat and lots of it. In reality, after the induction phase, he recommended lean meats, fish and poultry. There are those who believe he banned all carbs, when in fact carbohydrates of the accepted kind are added back into the diet as it progresses. The disagreement over the danger of ketosis is exaggerated as any diet causes this state when it reaches the phase where the body is using stored fat.